Sunday, 16 March 2014

16th -18th March 2014

Tuesday, 18th March: Cooler and cloudier than of late, with a freshening WNW wind F4. At the Bill there was minimal passage; just small numbers of Brent Geese starting to move, but the now-regular spring gathering of Great Northern Divers has begun in earnest with eight loitering offshore today.
Selsey Bill 0740 to 1000hrs:  Intermittent sun, wind NW4 (Obs: AH/SR/CRJ/C&ME)
Great Northern Diver - 8 os
Brent Goose - 81E
Common Scoter - 6E
Red-breasted Merganser - 5W & 5 os
Meadow Pipit - 3N
Pied Wagtail - 3N

Brent Geese over Selsey Bill (AH)
Pagham HbrThe Iceland Gull was showing very well on Pagham Lagoon (East end) late morning and the two Whooper Swans were busy feeding in the harbour off the North Wall at Pagham at lunchtime. No sign of the Water Pipit though.(Christian Melgar et al per SOS website). 
Church Norton: The drake Long-tailed Duck was offshore again this morning with half a dozen Red-breasted Mergansers and a single Great Crested Grebe. Not much evidence of migration bar a couple of Chiffchaffs between the Severals, and 60 Brent Geese dropped into the harbour. (AH)

Medmerry: A late afternoon walk from Earnley west  produced 20 Fieldfares, 8 Yellowhammers and a Reed Bunting. (SH)

Monday, 17th March: Another beautiful spring morning, before the cloud started to build. Bird of the morning was undoubtedly the Water Pipit - a really smart summer-plumaged bird - which grudgingly gave itself up in the reeds behind the Breech Pool.
Selsey Bill 0740 to 1010hrs: Sunny, clear, wind NW2-3 (Obs: AH/OM)
Great Northern Diver - 6 os
Red-throated Diver - 1E
Common Scoter - 3E & 5 os
Red-breasted Merganser - 3W
Mallard - 6 gardens; sitting on the rooftops!
Oystercatcher - 4E
Kittiwake - 1E
Wheatear 2 ob/gardens

Mallards at Selsey Bill in their natural habitat! (AH)
Pagham Hbr: Church Norton: In contrast to yesterday's reports, just 8 Red-breasted Mergansers and a Great Crested Grebe offshore, and quiet in the harbour bar a few noisy Oystercatchers! (AH) On the Ferry Pool this morning still 6 Avocets and 40+ Shoveler (OM).
Oystercatcher at Church Norton (AH)
North Wall: Yesterday's mysterious Water Pipit finally gave itself up this morning - a striking summer-plumaged bird, but it was frustratingly elusive as it fed along the edges of the reeds at the back of the Breech Pool, until 11am when it flew off northwards. Also 2 Spotted Redshanks, about 18 Black-tailed Godwits, 2-3 Snipe, a few Wigeon and 80+ Teal there. (AH)
Very poor record shot of Water Pipit (above) & Spotted Redshanks on the Breech Pool (AH) 
Another view of the Spotted Redshanks (OM)
Pagham Lagoon: The Iceland Gull dropped in for its regular wash and brush up on the Lagoon this morning as high tide approached (around 11.30), stayed for 30 minutes and then headed back towards the beach. (AH)
Iceland Gull on Pagham Lagoon (AH/OM)
Sunday, 16th March: A bright spring day with a light westerly wind; all very pleasant though not usually the best conditions for a sea-watch, so this morning's Manx Shearwater and Long-tailed Duck at the Bill were a bonus. Spring is certainly well upon us, with the first migrants having already put in an appearance, so now begins the often unpredictable second half on the month on the run up to April. A quick check of the Peninsula yearlist came up with a total of 146 species to date; that number should steadily increase from now on, and let's hope there are a few nice surprises on the way! (OM).

Selsey Bill 0600 to 0900hrs:  Sunny, clear, wind W3   (Obs: SH/PB/IP/PC/JA)
Great Northern Diver - 1W, 6 os
Diver sp - 1E
Great Crested Grebe - 1E
Manx Shearwater - 1W (0740hrs)
Fulmar - 1E, 6W
Gannet - 2E, 3W
Brent Goose - 32E
Long-tailed Duck - 1E
Common Scoter - 10E, 1W. 9 os
R/b Merganser - 3E, 2W, 6 os
Turnstone - 4E, 2W
Sandwich Tern - 1W
Meadow Pipit - 10N
Pied/alba Wagtail - 1W, 2N

Pagham Hbr: A Long-tailed Duck was present off Church Norton this morning at about 0830hrs; perhaps the Selsey bird? (Tony Sweetland). This bird was later picked up by Ivan Lang during a WeBS count; he also reports a Red-necked Grebe, 2 Slavonian Grebes and a Manx Shearwater offshore (the latter rare from this locality). A Willow Warbler was also noted at Church Norton along with 4 Chiffchaffs (IL).

The 2cy Iceland Gull was at the east end of Pagham Lagoon this morning, it now seems to be favouring the area close to the boardwalk; I was within a metre of it when I returned at 1200.The Med Gulls all seem to have gone but i did have 2 adult migrants flying west very high and calling. Four Meadow Pipits flew N  during my walk around Pagham spit, no Wheatears of chiffs of any sort seen. I notice on Birdguides that a Water Pipit was seen by the lagoon at 1145 whilst I  was there, why do I keep missing things, is it me! ( CRJ). No, it's certainly not just you missing things Chris! No info yet on the Water Pipit or finder (OM))

Further note from Bart Ives: 'I bumped into a chap at Pagham Lagoon looking for the Iceland Gull (which I duly showed him), he told me he had found the Water Pipit but that he had got his pools mixed up and it was actually on the Breech Pool not the Lagoon which explains why I didn't see it there either! By the time I got to the Breech Pool there was no sign.' (BI). Mmmm.. strange.. observer currently unknown, location uncertain!

North Fields: A WeBS count today located the following:- Shelduck 6, Mallard 16, Teal 186, Wigeon 2, Coot 26, Moorhen 6, Mute Swan 61, Brent 12, Cormorant 18, Black Tailed Godwit 2, Curlew 1, Lapwing 1, Little Grebe 1, Grey Heron 3, Little Egret 4. Also, a Red Kite drifted along the North Wall supported by 3 Common Buzzards and 2 Kestrels (JW).
Medmerry: (Golf links to Bunn's) 10.00 onwards. (S&SaH)
Little Egret - 5,  Buzzard - 4,  Kestrel - 1,  Med Gull - 2,  Wheatear - 2
Earnley to Bracklesham 17.00 (SH)
Buzzard - 2, Fieldfare - 17, Chiffchaff - 2, Yellowhammer - 12

Little Egrets and Wheatear at Medmerry (S. Hill)
Long Pool/Ferry Pool: First thing this morning there were two Kingfishers chasing each other up and down Ferry Channel. Also there were at least 5 singing Reed Buntings and a Cetti's Warbler along the Long Pool, 6 Avocets on the Ferry and a singing Chiffchaff near the hide. (AH)

Chi GP's - Drayton Pits: I must confess to a bit of a lie-in this morning, then I decided to avoid the crowds on a sunny Sunday so headed to the gravel pits where I didn't see another birder. I gave the area a good working over, checking the wet margins and damp patches and was pleased with my efforts which produced at least 15 Snipe, 1 Jack Snipe and a Woodcock which flushed from within a small, damp clump of trees. A noisy gathering of at least 35 Canada Geese and 30 Greylags (some paired up) contained an interesting duo - a Barnacle Goose and a 'small Canada Goose' look-alike which I presume is a  hybrid Canada X Barnacle type thing (see pic). Also recorded were: 7 pairs Little Grebe, 3 pairs Great Crested Grebe, 50 Tufted Duck, 8 Pochard, 4 Shoveler, 10 Gadwall, 6 Mute Swans (inc pair), 2 Chiffchaffs and a Cetti's Warbler.
Presumed hybrid Canada x Barnacle goose with feral Barnacle Goose (foreground) and Canada and Greylag Geese at rear, Drayton gravel pits (OM)

No comments:

Post a Comment